At this point, any bill that is still alive moves to the president's desk.
The president has several options.
If you sign the bill, it becomes law.
The president can veto it if he or she doesn't like it.
The president can send the bill back to Congress with a short explanation of what he or she doesn't like about it.
The veto override requires a two-thirds vote of both houses.
The veto is a negative tool because the president can usually count on the support of at least one-third of one of the houses.
They can bundle policies together so that the bill that arrives on the president's desk contains elements that he or she would typically want to veto.
Congress is not in session to consider a veto override.
When the president wants to veto a bill, he or she may choose this option.
If Congress remains in session, a bill will become law in ten days if the president doesn't do anything.
It's not enough for the president to dislike a bill to use the veto power.
The number of factors that have to fall into place for a bill to become law is striking.
A well-organized group of members in the Congress has a good chance of blocking a bill that they strongly object to, because there are many ways to kill bills.
In regards to procedures, Congress is better set up to ensure that bills do not affect organized interests than it is to facilitate coherent, well-coordinated solutions to the nation's problems.
There is a balance between representation, lawmaking, and partisanship, with the procedures of passage tilted against effective lawmaking.
All American political actors, those in Washington and those outside, have something important at stake in the legislative process.
Presidents have a huge stake in what Congress does, in terms of fulfilling their own campaign promises, supporting their party's policy goals, and building a political legacy.
Presidents can influence the legislative agenda, try to persuade their fellow party members in Congress to support their policies, take their case to the people, or use several different veto techniques once the process is under way.
Congress has the most flexibility when it comes to passing or stopping legislation.
Members want to satisfy their own needs, build national reputations, and accomplish ideological and partisan goals.
Legislative tools and strategies are at their disposal.
Success is more than knowing the rules.
It involves personality, luck, timing, and context, as well as political skill in using the rules that make a successful legislator.
If a party's reputation is that of excessively partisan and obstructionist, it could cause voter backlash.
Legislative politics has a balance of rules and processes that favor the skilled politician.
In the tumultuous election season of 2016 it was apparent that a large number of Americans were angry at their government, and many of them were angry at Congress.
Academics and journalists spend a lot of time speculating about what the decline in public support for our political institutions means for American democracy.
The proportion dipped below 10 percent in the year.
The intense partisanship of the Congress and its repeated legislative crises as the parties are unable to compromise is a major contributor to our generally low regard for it.
There are at least four reasons why citizens don't like Congress.
Some candidates encourage a negative image of the institution they want to join--running for Congress by running against it, and declaring their intention to fight against special interests, bureaucrats, and the general incompetence of Washington.
In the wake of the Watergate scandal, media coverage of Congress has become more negative, more continuous, and harder to avoid.
Since the 1970s the law requires that information about how much campaigns cost and who contributes to them be made public, casting a shadow of suspicion on the entire process and raising the concern that congressional influence can be bought.
Citizens are turned off by the partisanship in Congress.
Most of the reforms currently on the agenda are not likely to change the minds of Americans who are unhappy with Congress.
Term limits are one of the most popular reforms.
The intent is to limit the number of terms a member of Congress can serve to between eight and twelve years.
The reform is unlikely to bring about a "cleaner" institution because there is no evidence that Congress corrupts good people.
Public support for Congress might be affected by other reforms.
The impact of campaign finance reform could be significant.
The need to compromise on details might be reduced with the help of institutional reforms.
Reforms will probably not change how the public feels about Congress.
Congress has the power to act when it is unified and motivated.
Congress has a harder time getting things done when it reflects a sharply divided society.
It can't act because it's a representative institution and members aren't always present in their districts.
Congress has more incentives to be a representative institution than a national lawmaking body.
It is important to remember that the process is not an accident.
The purpose of the legislature was to be deliberative.
The founders' mixed bag of incentives works so well that Congress doesn't move very much.